Karl Baum, the butcher, has one of the 60,000 Stumbling Stones placed in 22 countries.
Karl Baum, his wife Toni, daughter Gerti and brother Leo lived at Mauergasse-8, Wiesbaden, Germany in the 1930’s.
Karl was the second oldest of six children. He was a butcher and originally the family lived in the apartment above his shop in Schulgasse-2. Business was good until 1934 when the Sturmabteilung (Nazi Paramilitary) prohibited the Jewish butchers from using the town’s slaughterhouse effectively putting him out of business. The shop was sold and Karl and Toni opened a small eating table from their Mauergasse-rented apartment for ‘people no longer able to enter other food establishments’.
Karl declared in 1940 that the family had no assets. It was in 1942 that Karl and Toni were deported to Lublin and later to Sobibor where they were killed. Gerti had immigrated to America in 1940, aged 26.
Leo was the youngest brother of Karl. He lived with Karl and his family but due to mental illness, admittance to a Sanatorium occurred in 1934. In 1941, Leo became part of the ‘T4’ program and mentally ill patients were considered unworthy of living. Leo was taken away and gassed. The family received a death notice stating he had died in hospital, the true nature of Leo’s death was not revealed.
Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones) is the idea of Berlin-born artist, Gunter Demnig. Brass plates for victims of Nazi persecution are incorporated into the cobblestones where that person last freely lived. At the end of 2016, 60,000 Stolpersteine have been laid.
Karl had one older sister, Martha, who moved to America as did another brother, Albert.
Of Karl’s remaining brothers, Moritz, also a butcher, committed suicide in 1935 possibly due to the failure of his business the year before. Moritz left behind a wife (Betty) and three children (Trude, Lore and Josef) who were deported in 1942 and killed thereafter.
Julius was taken to Buchenwald concentration camp on Kristalnacht. He escaped from the camp to England but was considered an enemy alien and spent War World 2 in a prisoner of war camp in Australia. After the war, he returned to Wiesbaden.
Kristalnacht (night of broken glass) occurred on the night of 9/10 November 1938. It was government-organised night of riots against the Jews throughout Germany. Synagogues were burned, windows smashed and merchandise destroyed in the Jewish-owned shops. Many Jewish men (of working age) were taken to the concentration camps
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